UPS Drone Makes First Home Prescription Deliveries for CVS

Lisa Baertlein wrote . . . . . . . . .

United Parcel Service Inc Flight Forward drones have flown prescription medications to the front lawn of a private home and to a retirement center, the UPS unit’s first revenue-generating deliveries for drugstore chain CVS Health Corp.

Flight Forward’s maiden delivery flight on Friday in Cary, North Carolina, beat rivals in one phase of the race for the nascent market. The second drone flight delivered medications to a public space at a retirement community.

The packages, roughly the size of small shoeboxes, were lowered from drones hovering at an altitude of about 20 feet.

UPS and CVS said on Tuesday the deliveries were the first of their kind under an program approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Regulators are still hammering out rules for how the unmanned winged vehicles will operate in U.S. airspace and guidelines are expected in 2021.

“We see big potential in drone delivery in rural communities where life-saving medications are needed and consumers at times cannot conveniently access one of our stores,” said Kevin Hourican, president of CVS Pharmacy.

“CVS is exploring many types of delivery options for urban, suburban and rural markets,” Hourican added.

In September, UPS became the first company to win the broadest FAA certification to operate a drone airline. That permits Flight Forward to collect payment for drone deliveries and to fly as many drones supported by as many operators as necessary to meet customer demand.

Flight Forward and drone startup Matternet have inked a variety of deals to deliver biological samples on a handful of medical campuses.

Wing, a drone operator owned by Google parent Alphabet Inc, is partnering with Walgreens and FedEx Corp for a home delivery pilot in Christiansburg, Virginia.

Source: Reuters

Mediterranean Chicken Pita Burgers

Ingredients

1/4 cup shredded English cucumber
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1-1/2 tsp harissa paste
1-1/2 tsp liquid honey
1/2 tsp lemon juice
450 g lean ground chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
4 pita pockets

Toppings

thinly sliced watermelon radishes
thinly sliced cucumber crumbled feta cheese
torn fresh mint
fresh sprouts

Method

  1. Wrap cucumber in clean tea towel and then squeeze to remove excess liquid.
  2. In small bowl, mix together cucumber, yogurt, harissa, honey and lemon juice.
  3. In large bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of the yogurt mixture, the chicken, garlic, egg, mint, coriander, cumin and salt.
  4. Shape mixture into four 1/2-inch thick patties.
  5. Place patties on greased grill over medium-high heat. Close lid and grill, turning once, until instant-read thermometer inserted sideways in patties reads 160°F, 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Place pitas on grill, turning once, until warmed through, about 1 minute.
  7. Spread some of the remaining yogurt mixture on pitas. Top pitas with patties. Add toppings and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Mediterranean Flavours

What’s for Lunch?

Italian-style Lunch at Cafe Prato in Kanagawa, Japan

The Menu

Squid and Mashed Potatoes

Pancetta, Fried Egg and Brown Butter Lasagna

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an enlarged area in the lower part of the major vessel that supplies blood to the body (aorta). The aorta runs from your heart through the center of your chest and abdomen.

The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body, so a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening bleeding.

Depending on the size of the aneurysm and how fast it’s growing, treatment varies from watchful waiting to emergency surgery.

Symptoms

Abdominal aortic aneurysms often grow slowly without symptoms, making them difficult to detect. Some aneurysms never rupture. Many start small and stay small; others expand over time, some quickly.

If you have an enlarging abdominal aortic aneurysm, you might notice:

  • Deep, constant pain in your abdomen or on the side of your abdomen
  • Back pain
  • A pulse near your bellybutton

Causes

Aneurysms can develop anywhere along the aorta, but most aortic aneurysms occur in the part of your aorta that’s in your abdomen. A number of factors can play a role in developing an aortic aneurysm, including:

  • Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis occurs when fat and other substances build up on the lining of a blood vessel.
  • High blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage and weaken the aorta’s walls.
  • Blood vessel diseases. These are diseases that cause blood vessels to become inflamed.
  • Infection in the aorta. Rarely, a bacterial or fungal infection might cause an abdominal aortic aneurysms.
  • Trauma. For example, being in a car accident can cause an abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Risk factors

Abdominal aortic aneurysm risk factors include:

  • Tobacco use. Smoking is the strongest risk factor. It can weaken the aortic walls, increasing the risk not only of developing an aortic aneurysm, but of rupture. The longer and more you smoke or chew tobacco, the greater the chances of developing an aortic aneurysm.
  • Age. These aneurysms occur most often in people age 65 and older.
  • Being male. Men develop abdominal aortic aneurysms much more often than women do.
  • Being white. People who are white are at higher risk of abdominal aortic aneurysms.
  • Family history. Having a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysms increases your risk of having the condition.
  • Other aneurysms. Having an aneurysm in another large blood vessel, such as the artery behind the knee or the aorta in the chest, might increase your risk of an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Complications

Tears in one or more of the layers of the wall of the aorta (aortic dissection) or a ruptured aneurysm are the main complications. A rupture can cause life-threatening internal bleeding. In general, the larger the aneurysm and the faster it grows, the greater the risk of rupture.

Signs and symptoms that your aortic aneurysm has ruptured can include:

  • Sudden, intense and persistent abdominal or back pain, which can be described as a tearing sensation
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fast pulse

Aortic aneurysms also put you at risk of developing blood clots in the area. If a blood clot breaks loose from the inside wall of an aneurysm and blocks a blood vessel elsewhere in your body, it can cause pain or block the blood flow to the legs, toes, kidneys or abdominal organs.

Prevention

To prevent an aortic aneurysm or keep an aortic aneurysm from worsening, do the following:

  • Don’t use tobacco products. Quit smoking or chewing tobacco and avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Focus on eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products. Avoid saturated fat, trans fats and limit salt.
  • Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control. If your doctor has prescribed medications, take them as instructed.
  • Get regular exercise. Try to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity. If you haven’t been active, start slowly and build up. Talk to your doctor about what kinds of activities are right for you.

If you’re at risk of an aortic aneurysm, your doctor might recommend other measures, such as medications to lower your blood pressure and relieve stress on weakened arteries.

Diagnosis

Abdominal aortic aneurysms are often found during an examination for another reason or during routine medical tests, such as an ultrasound of the heart or abdomen.

To diagnose an abdominal aortic aneurysm, doctors will review your medical and family history and do a physical exam. If your doctor suspects that you have an aortic aneurysm, specialized tests, such as the following, can confirm it.

  • Abdominal ultrasound. This test is most commonly used to diagnose abdominal aortic aneurysms. You lie on a table while a technician moves a wand (transducer) around your abdomen. Ultrasound uses sound waves to send images to a computer screen.
  • CT scan. This painless test can provide your doctor with clear images of your aorta, and it can detect the size and shape of an aneurysm.

During a CT scan, you lie on a table inside a doughnut-shaped machine. CT scanning generates X-rays to produce cross-sectional images of your body. You might have contrast dye injected into your blood vessels that makes your arteries more visible on the CT pictures (CT angiography).

MRI. In this test, you lie on a movable table that slides into a machine. An MRI uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of your body. You might have a dye injected into your blood vessels to make them more visible (magnetic resonance angiography).

Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm

Being male and smoking significantly increase the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm. Screening recommendations vary, but in general:

  • Men ages 65 to 75 who have ever smoked cigarettes should have a one-time screening using abdominal ultrasound.
  • For men ages 65 to 75 who have never smoked, your doctor will decide on the need for an abdominal ultrasound, usually based on other risk factors, such as a family history of aneurysm.

There isn’t enough evidence to determine whether women ages 65 to 75 who ever smoked cigarettes or have a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm would benefit from abdominal aortic aneurysm screening. Ask your doctor if you need to have an ultrasound screening based on your risk factors. Women who have never smoked generally don’t need to be screened for the condition.

Treatment

The goal of treatment — either medical monitoring or surgery — is to prevent your aneurysm from rupturing. Which treatment you have depends on the size of the aortic aneurysm and how fast it’s growing.

Medical monitoring

Your doctor might recommend this option if your abdominal aortic aneurysm is small and you don’t have symptoms. You’ll have regular appointments to check if your aneurysm is growing, and treatment to manage other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, that could worsen your aneurysm.

It’s likely you’ll need regular imaging tests to check on the size of your aneurysm. Expect to have an abdominal ultrasound at least six months after your aneurysm is diagnosed and at regular follow-up exams.

Surgery

Repair is generally recommended if your aneurysm is 1.9 to 2.2 inches (4.8 to 5.6 centimeters) or larger or if it’s growing quickly. Also, your doctor might recommend surgery if you have symptoms such as stomach pain or you have a leaking, tender or painful aneurysm.

Depending on several factors, including location and size of the aneurysm, your age, and other conditions you have, repair options might include:

  • Open abdominal surgery. This involves removing the damaged section of the aorta and replacing it with a synthetic tube (graft), which is sewn into place. Full recovery is likely to take a month or more.
  • Endovascular repair. This less invasive procedure is used more often. Doctors attach a synthetic graft to the end of a thin tube (catheter) that’s inserted through an artery in your leg and threaded into your aorta.

    The graft — a woven tube covered by a metal mesh support — is placed at the site of the aneurysm, expanded and fastened in place. It reinforces the weakened section of the aorta to prevent rupture of the aneurysm.

    Endovascular surgery isn’t an option for about 30 percent of people with an aneurysm. After endovascular surgery, you’ll need regular imaging tests to ensure that the repair isn’t leaking.

Source : Mayo Clinic

Vitamin D is Key to Muscle Strength in Older Adults

Vitamin D deficiency is linked with poor muscle health in older adults, a new study finds.

Maintaining muscle health helps seniors maintain their independence, mobility and quality of life. It also lowers their risk of falls and frailty.

Researchers looked at more than 4,100 people, aged 60 and older, in England. About 4 in 10 with vitamin D deficiency had muscle weakness — twice the level found among those who had adequate vitamin D levels.

Impaired muscle performance was three times more common among those with vitamin D deficiency (25.2%) than those with adequate vitamin D (7.9%).

Further analysis showed that vitamin D deficiency significantly increased the odds of impaired muscle strength and performance.

The study also confirmed the benefits of exercise. Participants who got regular moderate physical activity were much less likely to have poor muscle strength and physical performance, according to the researchers at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.

“Maintaining muscle function is incredibly important, and often overlooked, in promoting healthy aging,” said researcher Maria O’Sullivan, an associate professor in nutrition. “Addressing this through multimodal approaches that incorporate physical activity, reversing vitamin D deficiency and other modifiable diet and lifestyle components require further investigation.”

First author Niamh Aspell, who did her doctoral studies at Trinity, said the findings support the need for public health strategies to eliminate vitamin D deficiency in older people.

“Future research, however, should identify and focus on older adults with vitamin D deficiency and aim to better understand if reversing this deficiency improves skeletal muscle function,” she said in a college news release.

Study co-author Eamon Laird, a research fellow at Trinity, said Finland is among countries that have all but eliminated deficiency in the population by fortifying food with vitamin D. “Such a policy could similarly be implemented in the UK and Ireland for older populations,” he said.

The findings were recently published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Ageing.

Source: HealthDay


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